Starting any business requires a bit of risk from the business owner. However, there’s a difference between a business with a clear shot of victory and one that’s likely to struggle for survival from the word go. That difference is forethought. Here, we’re going to look at five questions you should ask about your business idea before you put your energy and time into it.

Do you have the resources that you need?

Cash is obviously most relevant to starting a business, but it’s not the only resource you need. Aside from the funding required, do you have the energy and time to devote to a business? Are you passionate enough about the idea that it will sustain you even when times are tough? Running a business takes a lot, you have to ensure that you have room for it in your life.

Do you have the right skills?

You might have a good idea of the product and service, as well as the industry you want to join, but do you have the entrepreneurial skills? Perhaps the most important skills to develop are leadership, so that you’re better able to direct a team, and marketing, so that you can understand your product’s strengths and be able to convince even a complete stranger of their benefits.

What problem does your business solve?

For a lot of business owners, this question isn’t that difficult to answer. If you’re starting a business that has an established place in the world, then you can look at your competitors and see what problem they’re solving. However, you need to find your own spin on it. You need a unique value proposition that addresses problems that your competitors aren’t too.

Can the market support you?

This is a question that involves looking outside of the business idea itself and it’s one that needs data to answer. If you’re starting a business in the passenger transportation industry, for instance, then you need reports looking at that market in particular. Do the sales forecasts in the market make it look profitable? Is there space amongst competitors for you to grab a share of the market? Most businesses have some competition, but doing your research can give you an idea of how easy it might be to find your own space in the market.

Can you compete?

Once you have a good idea of what competition is in the industry, it’s time to find out if you can keep up with them, too. There is all manner of competitive advantages, such as offering better customer service, finding a niche, or targeting weaknesses in other businesses. What’s important is that you do the oppositional research to find out what your advantage could be.

If you have a keen belief in and passion for your business, that can be enough to get over some of the doubts in the questions above. However, it’s always better to at least be aware of the challenges ahead to know how to better face them.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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